Jobs Are Slowly Increasing Again

The jobs market has been a roller coaster ride over the past few years, beginning with the Covid-19 virus causing nationwide business and school closings. 

In May 2023, The World Health Organization announced Covid-19 isn’t a public health emergency. 

As a result, the recovery of jobs and businesses has energized the 2023 first quarter in job growth. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that non-farm payroll jobs in April came in at 253,000. The job forecast for March was predicted to be 108,000, but that was revised upward. 

While politicians love to live and die with numbers, the hype rarely lives up to reality. Numbers reported are often found to be inaccurate after scrutiny and a deep dive into the facts. 

For example, the March numbers were downsized from 236,000 to 165,000—the same result for February’s job numbers. Three hundred thirty-six thousand were reported but reduced to 248,000. 

Raw numbers fail to tell the whole story. Individual industries can be affected by economic and labor conditions and can affect the final numbers. 

The April report included job gains of 77,000 in health services and private education. Business services and professional services increased by 43,000. Retail trade added 7,700, and the only decline was in wholesale trade, with a reduction of 2,200 jobs. 

With the growing number of bank failures, that industry should have lost jobs, but the opposite happened. Financial services jobs increased despite bank failures and a lackluster stock market performance.

Unemployment numbers are also suspect, and the rate for April was predicted to be 3.6 percent. But following the March 3.5 percent, the April rate dipped to 3.5 percent. 

The labor participation rate in April remained the same at 62.6 percent reported in March. The labor force participation rate also mirrored the March number of 60.4 percent.

The sweet spot of people working between the ages of 25 to 54 swung upward slightly in April to 80.8 percent from 80.7 percent. Two thousand and one was the previous high in this category.